If you believe, as we do at LSA Global, that corporate culture, along with talent and strategy, is what drives a company to succeed, it is critical to understand what culture is and who owns the responsibility for shaping it…the leadership or the workforce?
We define corporate culture as the way work truly gets done on a day-to-day basis…and smart leaders know it exists by either design or default. In other words, in every organization there is a combination of assumptions and behaviors that define the collective attitude of a company’s workforce. In some organizations this combination has been carefully crafted over time to best execute a coherent strategy; in others it has reactively evolved without purposeful alignment.
Our organizational alignment research found that corporate culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing companies. If you are unhappy with the culture at your organization, what can you do to influence it? And, who will have the greatest impact on changing culture to create higher levels of performance?
We believe that both leaders and employees should own the culture of their organization.
Leaders and Corporate Culture
Perhaps leaders have the most power to design and shape a corporate culture that matters. Since they are responsible for hiring, developing, engaging and retaining talent that performs, they make the decisions about who to bring on board and what behaviors to promote and reward. Leaders are also the ones who define and cascade the strategy that the culture needs to support. Why? Because strategy, one way or the other, must go through culture to get meaningful results.
But beyond setting up the cultural “way” to support and accelerate a particular business strategy, leaders need to understand their critical role as models of the desired behaviors. The way they act each and every day has a greater influence on their employees than they may realize. Whether they know it or not, leaders are in a fishbowl. The workforce is always watching. If a leader’s behavior is out of line with the culture they espouse, you can be sure the leader’s behavior, rather than the desired culture, is the one that will win out. Leaders need to understand that the amount of energy they focus on culture will determine how important it appears to employees. Modifying culture is difficult. It takes a sustained and consistent effort over time.
Employees and Corporate Culture
So where do employees fit into organizational culture? They need to take culture one step beyond the example and commitment of leaders…employees need to own their culture, to live and breathe it in every choice they make.
If, for instance, leadership has determined that the company culture needs to support more decentralized decision-making to best execute their strategy, employees (and their bosses) need to make sure they have the knowledge, skills and beliefs to make effective decisions when it matters most.
The Bottom Line
Organizational culture accounts for 40% of the difference between high and low performing organizations. Culture also occurs either by design or default. Sustainable cultures are the responsibility of both leaders and employees and should be shaped by both in concert in a way that is aligned with your corporate strategy.
To learn more about creating a high performance and purposeful culture, download The 3 “C’s” that Create High Performance Culture Whitepaper
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We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR
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Director of Human Resources
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.
Vice President, HR and IT
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Michelle A. Mitchell
Vice President, Worldwide Human Resources
We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.
Director, Human Resources
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
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